Computer won't boot, please help

May 25, 2011 at 12:20:02
Specs: N/A
My daughter decided to put some scan disks memory cards into the wrong card reader. I unplugged everything, opened up the case, disconnected the memory card reader, removed the scan disks, and reassembled. I noticed a large amount of dust on the large rear fan, so I wiped it off with a paper towel and did a quick dust off.

Now the computer won't boot. I get my initial boot screen, but it just stays there. When I hit reset on the motherboard, it sounds like it is going to power up as usual, only to stop, leaving only the hiss of the fans. I have checked all connections and ram cards to make sure they are secure. Still nothing.

I'm not hardware literate, so bear with me. My husband is deployed to Iraq, I have 2 kids, and 8 months pregnant. The nearest computer repair shop is 80 miles away in Tucson. Sorry for the pity party, just want to try everything before hauling the computer so far away. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

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May 25, 2011 at 12:59:08
Congratulations on your expected new arrival.

Hopefully you didn't touch the computer with a vacuum cleaner? That can damage the components from static discharge.

I suggest you go to your nearest office supply and get a can of compressed air and use it to blow out the dust from the insides of the case. Include blowing out the power supply from both ends. This will be messy, so you may want to move the tower outside.

Next, re-seat all the connectors, memory cards, etc. Don't just push on them. remove and re-seat. When dealing with the RAM you can snap each one in and out 4 or 5 times. This is to burnish the contacts.

If you moved the fan that sits on top of the CPU at all then you need to remove the heat sink/fan assembly. Clean off all thermal residue and apply new thermal compound sparingly.

Try running the computer with the card reader disconnected from the motherboard. Is the connector for the card reader a single connector or multiple connectors?

Can you post the model of the computer here?

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May 25, 2011 at 13:07:55
Thank you! No vacuum, just a towel and dust off. I didn't touch the top fan. The card reader connector is a single plug. My husband had the computer built 4 years ago.

I just took some pics. Let me upload them.

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May 25, 2011 at 13:18:00
If the computer is custom built you can enter the BIOS (setup) screens by tapping the Del key at start up. Check to see if the date and time are correct. If they are not, then the boot order may have also changed. This can happen if the CMOS battery on the motherboard is weak or dead. It is there to hold the settings when the power is removed from the computer. You can reset those items manually. Leaving power connected to the computer even if off will hold the settings even with the bad battery.

You may just need to wait a bit longer for Windows to sort things out.

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May 25, 2011 at 13:24:20
I can't enter bios. I get my inital boot screen, it says to "press DEL to enter setup, press TAB to enter BIOS POST message." But pressing these keys does nothing.

Here are some pics, I'm not sure how helpful they will be.

Bottom right blue plug is what i disconnected, the memory card reader. Also pictured is the motherboard power and reset buttons that I have tried. The lights are on inside the computer, just nothing seems to be powering up, like the hard drive or cpu, just the fans.

And this is the general set up

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May 25, 2011 at 13:29:06
Temporarily unplug the card reader & see what happens.

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May 25, 2011 at 13:32:09
If you are using a USB type keyboard it may not work in the pre-Windows screens. Do you have a PS/2 type keyboard to use, at least temporarily? PS/2 keyboards have a round purple colored connector.

Then you moved the case to motherboard individual connectors? What is the black cable in the second photo that disappears out of view at the lower left of the photo?

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May 25, 2011 at 13:44:53
that is the cord to an LCD poster that came with the computer. Its sitting on top of my computer out of the way. nothing to do with the internal components.

I don't have one of those keyboards, but I will run to the store and get one, if you think it will help.

"Then you moved the case to motherboard individual connectors" I have no clue what you mean by this. I simply unplugged the memory card reader, removed the reader to clean it out, then replaced it, being super careful not to touch anything else.

I disconnected the memory card reader, still nothing. It sounds like it is powering on, the cpu I guess? The thing above the power and reset buttons in my picture makes the usual power up sound, then stops.

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May 25, 2011 at 14:06:08
I misunderstood what you meant about the power and reset. I thought you may have removed those wires from the motherboard.

So you are getting no video on the monitor then? No beeps either? I wouldn't run off buying anything just yet. All the PS/2 keyboard will do is allow you to get into the BIOS screens. If you are not seeing any video then it wouldn't make any difference.

Did you disturb the long red card? That is the graphics (video) card.

Try unplugging the computer from the wall and depressing the power button a few times. Then plug back in and try booting.

So you removed the card reader completely from the case? You may have disturbed other hardware in the process. You removed it from the front of the case then?

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May 25, 2011 at 14:15:22
I have video, its just frozen on the inital boot screen that I usually get right before windows boots. It has a republic of gamers graphic, with the DEL to run setup and TAB to display bios message.

I removed the memory card reader from the front, The only thing I touched on the inside (I think) is the plug, and the fan on the back.

trying to unplug and reboot now

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May 25, 2011 at 14:21:09
I dosconnected the power and depressed the power button like you change. Still frozen on the initial screen

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May 25, 2011 at 15:01:08
Just to clarify, you mean the computer starts to boot and you see video up to the point of some screen. What is that screen?

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May 25, 2011 at 23:33:12
Sorry for the delay. I just took it to the shop. We promised my son he could web cam with my husband Monday for his birthday. I really need it working. They said it's a bad motherboard and needs to be replaced. They wouldn't clarify any further. I'm sure they are screwing me over, but there's nothing I can do about it.

Thanks for all of your help.

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May 26, 2011 at 05:01:12
Sorry to hear that you need to replace the motherboard.

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